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Micro-Chips for Wayward Kids with Down syndrome?

posted Thursday August 28th, 2008

At lunch yesterday, Ray and I mused about whether we should put a micro-chip in Sophie, the way people do with pets. He claims this really goes on in Russia, where kidnapping rates were so high. I brought up again.

It was all idle chatter, til the phone rang a couple hours later. I love Ms. X. She promised she’d let me know any time anything happened, and she has, so far. The phone rings almost every afternoon. This time she sounded serious. Turns out, Sophie actually left the classroom, and headed, in her high-spirited way, right down the hall toward the main door (which isn’t so far from the street). Ms. X caught her and gave her a time out and was very, very stern with her.

Sophie knew. She immediately walked to the bulletin board, where the “green behavior slips” are posted (make it through the day without losing the slip, and a note goes home saying you were “super”) and silently handed it to Ms. X.

“She’s not dumb,” I said.

“Oh no,” Ms. X replied. “She’s not dumb.”

She’s not. Just this morning, Ray and Annabelle and I marveled at a dozen things Sophie did and said.

But her behavior is simply unacceptable. And exactly what I was worried about.

What am I supposed to do? Put Sophie in a contained, dumbed-down classroom she can’t escape from? (I’m not sure such a place even exists; she doesn’t qualify for it cognitively, in any case.) Or hold my breath for the unforseeable future?

Or get a micro-chip?

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Tags: Filed under: Sophie Goes to Kindergarten by Amysilverman

4 Responses to “Micro-Chips for Wayward Kids with Down syndrome?”

  1. On the contrary, she is very smart! My daughter with DS, who is now 8 and in 3rd grade, always used to wait for the magic moment when nobody was looking and then take-off. She did this to me and to her aide in the classroom once. The aide found her in the bathroom but only after she looked beneath the stall doors because Sophia of course refused to answer when called. Safety was one of my paramount concerns written into her IEP so that an adult was with her at all times throughout the day. As she progressed through the school-years, the aide would take a more sit-back and observe approach so Sophia was allowed to participate in the classroom without the “Intrusion” of an aide. I am happy to say that as a 3rd grader, she is much more aware of safety and I am more comfortable knowing that she understands the reasons. With that being said, all of the doors in my house have electronic chimes on them which have “saved” her more times than I care to admit. One day we were at at my sister’s house down the block from us. I ran upstairs to look at something (maybe 2 minutes max) and when I came down Sophia was gone from her perch on the couch watching t.v. The sliding glass door was open and she was nowhere to be seen. In an under a minute she had left my sister’s and entered the neighbors house next door (who happen to be our good friends). They weren’t even home but she had slipped in through their back door and was upstairs playing in the kid’s bedroom. So, as a parent I feel for you because I have had the stomach-dropping feeling one too many times. I have often thought of a microchip but only if it can track her movements not just her destination!

  2. Oh my! I have two children who were just like this, my Son more than my Daughter. My Daughter ended up at the Circle K down the street from her school while everyone was looking for her franticly. My Son never ran away, but would run around kicking people and making silly faces. People wouldn’t invite him to birthday parties because he was so squirrelly. But he just graduated from college with a degree in economics and never kicks people anymore! : ) and my Daughter is a Jr. in college and can go to Circle K any time she wants. Hang in there!

  3. I remember my horror, decades ago, the first time I saw a child with a harness and a leash! Eventually I came to understand that such is a must for some kids, or at least for their parents.

    Alas, a discrete microchip would only identify. To locate person, one would need something like a GPS anklet.

  4. I know this is more on the “idle chatter” side, but there may be a kind of technology that could be useful. I just read a piece in a travel magazine about keeping tabs on your stuff while you travel. One thing is called the Loc8tor Lite ( and uses radio frequency to find things that have a “homing” tag attached to it (think high-tech pendant). Downside it’s only good to about 400 feet.

    The other thing they mentioned was GPS-Snitch ( which seems like an amazing solution, except for the size of the thing. Not sure how you’d keep it attached to a kid. You can follow its whereabouts online or through text messages.

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